I Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (18) Boy (homeless fire-breather) meets girl (artist with degenerative eye disease) and they fall in love against the setting of Paris's oldest and most romantic bridge. Their umourfou is sealed the night they steal a boat and sail down the Seine as the city‘s skyline colourfully explodes with fireworks.

A visually splendid tale of love-against-the-odds from Leos Carax. one of Europe‘s most idiosyncratic and unpredictable filmmakers. lt easily transcends the behind- the-scenes tales of spiralling budgets and a director‘s ego gone out of control. See feature. (AM)

I Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (PG) The first of not one. not two, but three Columbus voyages landing on a shore near you before the end of the year. This isthe ‘Alexander Salkind Presents‘ model. directed by James Bond veteran John Glen. but at least they both avoid resting on past laurels and creating a Columbus who is part-Superman. part-007. In fact. the redeeming aspect of this detailed but disposable account of the ‘discovery‘ of the Americas 500 years ago lies in the casting and performance of relative unknown George Corraface in the title role. He plays Coiumbus as a man driven by an ambition that is initially commendable. but ultimately condemnable. as his greed for gold and glory causes him to exploit crew and island natives alike.

Adequate as an afternoon matinee swashbuckler.


Christopher Columbus: The Discovery had the

potential to be this year‘s

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. but ends up simply as this year‘s Robin

Hood.lnterestingtales , come down to us from

filming— the three ships seen in the film were actual replicas of Columbus‘s originals and did indeed travel using

j only wind power from

Spain to Puerto Rica with cast and film crew aboard. But even the most perfect historical accuracy cannot distract the audience from the worst screen performance ofthe decade. No, not Marlon Brando as the inquisitor Torquemada. No, not Torn Selleek as King

a Ferdinand of Spain.

Rachel Ward is truly awful as Queen Isabella. In fact. [don‘t know why

: Columbus had such

difficulty trying to find a ship for his journey: her

actingis wooden enough to have built an entire fleet. (AM)

I Unforgiven (15) A former outlaw (Clint Eastwood) is persuaded to give up his quiet but poverty-stricken family lifestyle in order to join a bounty hunt for two men who cut up a prostitute in a town called Big Whiskey. Also on the money trail is English Bob (Richard Harris) another killer-for-hire who is accompanied by his

biographer. Eastwood‘s much-heralded return to the genre where men are men and studio bosses are nervous brings a darker edge than usual to the Western. An essay on loyalty, revenge and violence, Unforgiven is superbly acted, directed with brooding style, and proves that no one fills that saddle like Mr Eastwood. (AM)

(— A LEAGUE or THEIR own

(1. (Th ' A League Of Their Own: “better castthan most sports movies'

1943. As the players are siphoned off for the war effort, team closures start to affect Minor League baseball and loom large on the horizon lorthe Major echelons. An urgent solution is needed if Middle America isn't to suffer a potentially debilitating sports shortage, whereupon temporary salvation arrives in the unlikely shape of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Such is the real-life inspiration for Penny Marshall’s affectionate new comedy/drama, which stars Geena Davis and Lori Petty as a couple of heartland gals talent-spotted and packed off to become the catcher and pitcher for the newly-formed Rockford Peaches. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks gets

' by bookending the central story with a

back on scuzzball form as a former doyen of the diamond who drank his career away and is now lucky to get offered a job coaching a team of women.

Chronicling the Peaches' highs and lows as they hone their playing skills and gain in cohesion as a unit, the film’s home-run hitting highlights tend to push the same buttons as your average sports movie, although with the likes of Madonna in a supporting slot as feisty fielder ‘All The Way’ Mae, it’s certainly better cast than most. Yet

90s framing device that has the remaining Peaches visiting a museum commemorating the All-American Girls' achievement, it becomes clear that something obviously more worthy is intended.

Unfortunately, the richer-than-usual characterisation, which draws out Davis’s dilemma in choosing adulation on the field or domestic bliss with her returning husband, tends to slow the action down and make the film rather overlong as a whole. Not quite pure entertainment, not quite a statement on women in society, A League Of Their Own ends up caught rather awkwardly between two bases. (Trevor Johnston)

A League Of Their Own (PG) (Penny Marshall, US, 1992) Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Madonna. 124 mins. Odeons: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr. All UCIs. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Central: Cannon.


Spurned by the love of his life, architect

Newton Davis (Steve Martin) drowns I his sorrows at a Hungarian restaurant I g

and before you know it, he's sharing more than a dish of goulash with an over-friendly waitress (Goldie Hawn). Somewhere in the midst of their passionate one-night-stand, he relates his woes and makes a passing reference to the magnificent dream house he built for his would-be wife in his home town. In need of free accommodation and a change of scene, Hawn heads off to the vacant homestead, passing herself off as Martin’s new wife to locals, neighbours and even his parents. When he turns up ' unexpectedly, they are forced to protect and exploit each other by means of an intricate set of fabrications that threatens to take over their lives.

Although, ultimately, no one will be surprised by the final scenes of Housesltter, the route we follow to get there is paved with such mendacity that, as the leads begin to believe their own stories, no one can predict quite which side-road we’ll be dragged down next. Martin and Hawn bounce whopper after whopper off each other with genuine relish, so that- more snowball than screwball -the comedy picks up pace about halfway through as the weight of each lie adds to those that have gone before.

Director Frank 02 adds another successful Martin collaboration to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and proves that,

with Hawn, he hasn’t lost his touch in ; dealing with Muppets. But that’s not

i made her own. in need of a hit after a ' series of box office pratfalls, she is

Housesitfer: “Martin and Hawn bounce whopper alter whopper off each other with genuine relish'

doing justice to Hawn’s performance, which manages to give just enough rein to that brand of kookiness she has

back on top comic form as the self-styled “Ernest Hemingway of bullshit’. (Alan Morrison)

Housesltter (PG) (Frank Oz, US, 1992) Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Dana Delaney. 105 mins. From Fri 11: Cannons: The Forge, Sauchiehali Street, Edinburgh, Falklrk, Kirkcaldy, Kilmamock. All UCls. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Central: Allanpark, Caledonian. Strathclyde: Keiburne,

Odeon Hamilton.


Victoria Abril in Lovers: ‘llke Joan Crawford on heat' Franco‘s Spain in the mid-50s and. having completed his military service. Paco (Jorge Sanz) looks forward to marrying his longtime fiancee. Trini. In the run-uptothe big occasion. he takes a room in the small flat owned by the glamorous Luisa (Victoria Abril) while he‘s looking for work. His landlady. however. offers him more than a roof over his head and. as he explores a new world of forbidden desire with her. his virginal girlfriend's shy retreat from his touch becomes less and less appealing by the day. Both women begin to resent each other‘s existence. but Trini is the one with the substantial savings. Luisa the one with the underworld connections. Piece by piece. Paco‘s future seems to be falling into place . . . Playing dead straight a melodramatic plotline Almodovar would have camped-up to high heaven, Vicente Aranda's film still offers its fair share of unintentional chortles. With the boyish Sanz and his frigid young love little more than cardboard cut-outs. the wondrous Abril carries the movie by herself. sporting a selection of scarves. sunglasses and natty little suitsthat wouldn‘t have looked out of place on Grace Kelly. yet putting in the kindof raunchy-but-desperate older woman performance that's more like Joan Crawford on heat. Doubtless. we‘re meant to take this all terribly seriously. but with oodles ofliispanic bonking, an eye-watering ‘hide the red hanky‘ sequence and a scene-stealing cameo by a spectacularly crippled old dear, it adds up to atreat oftruly trashy proportions. (Trevor Johnston) Lovers (18) (Vicente Aranda, Spain, 1991) Victoria Abril. Jorge Sanz, Maribel Verdu. 103 mins. From I 1 Sept: Edinburgh Cameo.

14 The List 11- 24 September 1992